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From under the hammer to new scanner for men's health

A unique charity auction by development firm Urban Properties has given men's health services in Cairns a huge boost.


The mountainous backdrop framing the skyline behind Edmonton was stunning, the auction bidding was intense and the outcome for men's health in Cairns was remarkable.

A charity event by the team at Urban Properties today, which featured a no-reserve auction on a prime block of land at their Millhouse Estate development on Isabella Road, has raised vital funds for men's cancer facilities at Cairns Hospital.

An estimated $20,000 will now flow to the FNQ Hospital Foundation to help fund vital prostate cancer detection equipment.

James and Rachel Fennell from Urban Properties launched the charity auction after their personal battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma five years ago.

"One of the reasons we decided to do this is that the construction industry has a large male workforce and they sometimes don't get the same attention in terms of health awareness and the guys often don't look after their health as well as they should.

"I also saw some statistics that showed more men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer in Australia, but the profile and awareness between the two was very different.

"So we thought it would be great to start a new initiative for male health in Far North Queensland. 

"This was not going to be one of those auctions where you don't get a result and everyone walks away disappointed. This block was going to be sold today and we're thrilled with the result.

"With the success of today's event we will now look towards next year, grab some other builders and people involved, maybe look at auctioning off a house.

"The couple who bought this block of land today will always have that memory that they didn't just buy a block of land in a wonderful part of cairns, but they've also helped the whole region with the boost to healthcare."

FNQ Hospital Foundation board member Desley Boyle thanked Urban Properties and other partners in the initiative including Property Shop, Brandtree Creative and auctioneer Lance Richards for their support of vital facilities at the hospital.

Ms Boyle said the estimated $20,000 donation would go towards a Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) generator, which is used for diagnosis, staging and monitoring.

The machine is part of a plan by local medical staff to limit the number of times they are forced to send male cancer patients south to Townsville or Brisbane for diagnosis and treatment.

Cairns urologists who attended today's charity auction said they were working towards the provision of world-class men's health services for local patients.

"We believe the men of Cairns and Far North Queensland are entitled to the same level of care that men in Brisbane and Sydney have access to," one of the urologists said.

"We've got the personnel, we've got a great team of urologists and oncologists, a wonderful prostate cancer nurse specialist and now we're trying to put in more infrastructure so that men don't have to travel to Brisbane, they can have their expert care right here."